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Driver Survives 30-Foot Plunge Onto Train Tracks

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - A 20-year-old woman was released from the hospital Tuesday after she crashed through a fence and plunged 30 feet in her Jeep onto railroad tracks.

Stephanie Cacho was ticketed on an infraction charge of driving with a learner's permit without supervision, Metro-North spokesman Dan Brucker said.

There were no signs that speed or alcohol or drugs contributed to the accident, he said.

It was remarkable that the woman wasn't killed, he said.

The accident happened shortly before 8 p.m. Monday, when the woman was driving on Sixth Avenue and swerved to avoid a car in front of her, she told police.

Witnesses told police she swerved to avoid a boy on a bike.

Her 1999 Jeep crashed through a wrought iron fence, taking out heavy curbstones with it, and tumbled down the embankment on West First Street.

Jarred but conscious, she was alert enough to begin crawling out of the sunroof as two young men climbed down the embankment to help her.

"A couple of good Samaritans took it upon themselves to jump onto the tracks, and one of them claimed that he aided her out," Mount Vernon Deputy Fire Chief Peter McDonald said.

One man, Rohan Britton, told 1010 WINS he saw "a lot of blood" as he helped her out of the wreck.

The woman was taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where she was in stable condition Tuesday morning, a nursing supervisor said. She was later released.

"My advice to her when she gets out of the hospital is to buy a lottery ticket," McDonald said, noting how lucky she was to have survived.

When the Jeep landed on the tracks, it narrowly missed the electrified third rail, which transmits 600 volts of direct current.

That was her first break, Brucker said.

"She was fortunate she didn't die in the crash in and of itself," Brucker said. "She is fortunate the car didn't burst into flames. She is fortunate she didn't get hit by a train."

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